In May of last year, CNN went looking for Wiley Fountain who, in 2003, received a full pardon from Gov. Rick Perry after DNA evidence revealed Fountain did not commit the aggravated sexual assault of which he'd been convicted in 1986. But the network's Ed Lavandera couldn't find the 52-year-old, who, at the time, had last been seen in March 2008 being booked into the Dallas County Jail on a theft charge.
Fountain was found late last year, homeless in Dallas, and he again makes an appearance in this Associated Press story concerning the Texas House's decision today to pass Dallas state Rep. Rafael Anchia's bill that bumps the compensation given to the wrongly imprisoned-and-finally released from $50,000 to $80,000, in addition to providing an annuity and health care. From the sound of his story, Wiley Fountain remains still very lost:
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Wiley Fountain said the annuity, education and financial counseling would have greatly helped him when he was released in 2002. Fountain collected $390,000 -- minus federal taxes -- after spending 15 years for a rape he did not commit. But he's now broke and living on the streets of Dallas, recyling aluminum cans for 35 cents a pound. Fountain, 52, said he had no idea how to handle his money and his freedom.
"You're not used to all that, and then all of a sudden you've got it. You help this person, you help that person, trying to be nice. Then it's all gone," Fountain said.